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Is The Real Iraq War Death Toll Hidden?


By James Donahue

July 20, 2005


There is a rumor circulating broadly across the web that the U. S. Defense Department is involved in a massive cover-up of the real numbers of American service personnel killed in the Iraqi War.


Walter Storch’s controversial TRBNews website seems to be a source of a report by Brian Harring that claims the official war death count of 1,769 (as of this date) does not include another 6,210 people who died in flight or after reaching the German hospitals set up for treating them.


Harring’s total death count from that single war is at or near 9,000 U.S. soldiers, not the 1,764 dead given in the official military counts.


The Harring story also reports that a review of foreign news sites indicates that the actual death toll is much higher than the official count. He also estimates that as of January 1, the numbers of civilian casualties in the war were just under 100,000. A British journalism site is estimating a lower figure at about 25,000. The government is not keeping score.


Even though this story is widely being reported in nearly every case it is merely a copy of the original Harring article. Yet there are some reasons why the report could be given some merit.


First, Harring issued the information with an appeal to families of the dead to examine the official records and see if their deceased son, daughter or other relative is counted. He claims to still be researching the statistics and wants to issue a more official record of  his findings at a later date.


Secondly, we are acutely aware these days that the Bush Administration is playing under a code of dirty tricks established by Karl Rove, the guy now identified as the real brains behind the administration. Rove and many of the other advisors around Bush, especially Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, remember clearly how the high death toll in Vietnam brought the American people to the streets demanding an end to that conflict.


Remember how press photographers and reporters were banned from photographing the flag draped caskets bringing war dead home early in the war. It would also be to the Pentagon’s best interests to keep the actual death toll a secret.


Harring writes: “There is (an) excellent reason to believe that the Department of Defense is deliberately not reporting a significant number of the dead in Iraq. We have received copies of manifests from the MATS that show far more bodies shipped into Dover Air Force Base than are reported officially.


“The educated rumor is that the actual death toll is in excess of 7,000. Given the officially acknowledged number of over 15,000 seriously wounded, this elevated death toll is far more realistic,” Harring wrote.


He continued: “In addition to the evident falsification of the death rolls, at least 5,500 American military personnel have deserted, most in Ireland but more have escaped to Canada and other European countries, none of whom are inclined to cooperate with vengeful American authorities.


“That means that of the 158,000 U.S. military shipped to Iraq, 26,000 either deserted, were killed or seriously wounded.”


Harring notes that the high number may also include the large number of suicides occurring among military personnel.


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